Animal Rights Group Calls For Investigation of Local USDA Meat Research Center
By Melissa Rosales, Reporter/Producer Nebraska Public Media
Feb. 7, 2022, 7 a.m. ·
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Stop Animal Exploitation Now, an animal rights group, is calling for staff terminations and a federal investigation into the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center near Hastings.
Internal records from the research center show two reports last May in which a calf was “inadvertently contacted by a pickup” while staff inspected the pasture. The calf suffered injuries and was humanely euthanized. Another cow’s head was “inadvertently” injured while being processed and died. Stop Animal Exploitation Now Co-Founder Michael Budkie wrote letters to the USDA, calling for the firing of the employees involved in the incidents and an investigation.
"These are public records and we feel very strongly that since the people of this country pay for facilities like the one there in Nebraska, that the public has a right to know," he said. "And that's one of the other reasons we're making this public."
Budkie claims the Meat Animal Research Center violated federal regulations Sec. 2.38 (f)(1) Animal Handling. A USDA spokesperson said the two incidents mentioned in the letters did happen and "although we are deeply saddened by the unfortunate loss of these animals, the incidents were not attributed to abuse or neglect.” The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service annually inspects the facility.